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I have a very shady spot along the back side of my layout along a chain-linked fence. I'd like to plant something that would grow in shade and would grow tall enough to hide the 4' fence. I thought about monks hood but it's toxic to our dogs so that's out. Any suggestions?
 

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Ed,

funny you should mention this!

just yesterday I was doing research on this very topic..

I also have a shady corner, under oak trees, with a chain link fence,
where I would like to grow a tall hedge..

but what kind of "tall hedge plant" can handle full shade??

I may have found one!

I will simply copy and paste the notes I took yesterday..

the following is copied from various sources around the internet..

im really tempted to try these!


Hedges for shade


Clumping bamboos (Fargesia).


Look in this very valuable group to find hardy,
clumping bamboos as well as clumping bamboos for warmer climates and interiors.
These bamboos originate in the mountains of South and Central America,
China and the Indian sub-continent. The Fargesias are among the hardiest
of bamboos and all are useful in shade; some in sun as well. If you are
in a northern state and need an evergreen screen that requires no control,
The Fargesias are perfect for you. The Borindas, Chusquea and Drepanostachyum
do well in warm states. Himalayacamlamus prefers cool nights. These latter,
more tender bamboos, but not the Fargesias, are excellent interior plants.

Fargesia murielae - A bamboo from the Himalayas
with green culms. This shade-loving plant grows more vigorously for us
than the other Fargesias. The culms become progressively more branched
each year and, as a result, more pendulous - hence a fountain-like growth
habit. Fine specimen plants - or use them spaced ten feet apart to make
a non-spreading screen. Evergreen in Zone 5 and warmer, but not for hot
climates, the South, Kansas, Oklahoma or desert states. We sell new generation
plants. Gallon.

Height 12 ft

Diam .5 in

Hardy to -20F

Zones 5-8

Partial shade

Clumping


http://www.backyardgardener.com/plantname/pda_1e0c-2.html


http://www.ipps.org/WesternNA/WR2007/PPT/Jaquith.pdf


http://www.bamboogarden.com/Clumping%20Bamboo%20Sale.htm


http://www.bamboodirect.com


http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/advanced.php?search_text=bamboo&offset=0


All Fargesia have pachymorph rhizomes which means
they grow in clumps and don?t spread. As for planting Fargesia murielae
Simba it would have to be planted in full shade and I would recommend waiting
to early spring to plant them. I have personally planted every Fargesia
that is cold hardy in Detroit the only one that seems to be able to handle
are hot summers here and grow well is the F. rufa it can be planted from
full sun to full shade.


http://www.bamboogarden.com/Fargesia%20sp.%20'Rufa'.htm


(Rufa is shorter than murielae 7-10’)


http://www.needmorebamboo.com

 


(this is Scot again)

one thing im not clear on yet is exactly how fast these bamboo grow..

some sources say "many feet per year" and will get 6 feet tall in like
2 years..

But I found a gardenweb discussion about one of those varieties where
the guy said he had been growing it 6 years

and it was now about 4 feet tall...so im not clear on that.

more research to be done.

but its an interesting solution!


Scot

 

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English Yew (Taxus Baccata ) likes the shade and will give you green for the winter. Go with one of the dwarf cultivars and use it as a hedge. A few others would be , arborvitae Lowes 5 ft. tall $29.95 , Dogwood , red twig , yellow twig ,pagoda dog wood tree is an under story tree that will take the shade. Hemlock , cotoneaster great for apple trees on the railroad ,Euonymus ( burning bush ) won't turn as red without some sun ,Hydrangea light shade ,Azalea (northern lights cold hardy )Viburnums compact american good hedge plant ,hosta, astilbe , hope this helps professor. Lernt it all at your school UNL Go Big Red !!!!! :cool:" border=0>
 

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Put bamboo in a steel tub or it will grow out into your yard. Very invasiave./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif
 

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Posted By Dan Moore on 04/07/2008 7:04 PM
Put bamboo in a steel tub or it will grow out into your yard. Very invasiave./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif" border=0>




not all bamboo..
the varieties I talk about in the post above are "clumping" bamboo and do not spread by runners and not invasive at all.

Scot
 

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Don't believe every thing you read or here . I talked to a grower in Minnesota and they all spread just some less than others.
 

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Posted By Dan Moore on 04/07/2008 7:18 PM
Don't believe every thing you read or here . I talked to a grower in Minnesota and they all spread just some less than others.




perhaps..
but if they do spread, wouldnt simply mowing along the edges of the "main row" keep them from spreading?
I actually dont know much about bamboo, but after finding out about these varieties, im very interested in learning more!

Scot
 

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Bamboo are all members of a grass family that spreads by rhizomes. While clumping bamboos will spread more slowly than running bamboos, they still form a tough mat of rhizomes that is slowly invasive and almost impossible to eradicate if they need to be removed.

There are a very few hardy bamboos that grow as far north as Zone 4 but the vast majority are not hardy north of Zone 6 - it is generally a semitropical plant.

When choosing an understory plant for a large shade tree, keep in mind that there are very few evergreens that will fill the bill. If the shade is dense, you have next to no choices. For lighter shade, the yews are almost the only evergreens and most of these are too small to block a chain link fence. A hemlok is the only evergreen tree that grows in shade BUT it grows best in a cold climate (it is a tree of the boreal forest) and it also grows slowly tall enough to reach the forest canopy ie it will dwarf the tree it is planted under.

For hiding the chain link fence I would not recommend vines as they are way too invasive. My choice would be tall ferns ... especially those with interesting foliage. They may not be in scale with the trains but they will provide an interesting green or silver background blocking the fence growing peaceably in the shade without being invasive.

Regards ... Doug
 
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Discussion Starter #10
While I appreciate the suggestion, I would not be able to plant bamboo on my layout. The overlying canopy is too low where I need the plantings and I don't think bamboo would fit into the theme of my railroad. I do like bamboo and we have had some in the past (it went everywhere). Thanks, but I need to stick to something smaller and less invasive.

Ed
 

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Posted By Dougald on 04/08/2008 6:09 AM


When choosing an understory plant for a large shade tree, keep in mind that there are very few evergreens that will fill the bill. If the shade is dense, you have next to no choices. For lighter shade, the yews are almost the only evergreens and most of these are too small to block a chain link fence.
For hiding the chain link fence I would not recommend vines as they are way too invasive. My choice would be tall ferns ... especially those with interesting foliage. They may not be in scale with the trains but they will provide an interesting green or silver background blocking the fence growing peaceably in the shade without being invasive.
Regards ... Doug






I hate to keep sounding like a broken record here, but Doug's advice is dead on in my experience. Shade and garden railways simply don't mix. Why? We need small leaves, and small leaves are poor sun catchers. No such thing as a miniature hosta (unfortunately).
 
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